How New Media is Used for Issues Management
This study expands on strategic issues management literature by examining how new communication technologies, especially social networking, are used for the purpose of managing organizational issues. An Issues Typology is also presented in this study in the attempt to categorize overarching types of issues as well as recognize what types of issues are important to organizations. Guided by relevant literature in Internet communication, public relations and issues management, a grounded theory analysis of in-depth interviews with 20 communicators and public relations practitioners revealed the overall relationship between the utilization of new media and the practice of issues management. These results provide rich insight into to public relations practitioners’ utilization of new media, actual issues management practices within organizations, the relationship between new media and issues management, and organizational definitions of an issue. Additionally, this study provides insight into the challenges that communicators face when utilizing new communication technologies. Overall, these results show that although practitioners have significant limitations in employing issues management through new media, they believe there are a number of outlets for issues management through these channels and have a strong desire to implement them.